Imbibing findings that jibe - and some that are jive
Drinking for thinking and shrinking
Hark! More good health news for those who imbibe -- men and women both
First, the ladies (naturally): According to a recent study conducted by the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, moderate alcohol consumption among older women resulted in measurably higher levels of mental function compared to non-drinkers. Previous studies have connected moderate drinking with a reduction in the risk of dementia and cognitive decline among both sexes.
The study, published in a recent online issue of the journal Neuroepidemiology, winnowed its conclusions from data involving nearly 10,000 women aged 65 or older. These women were enrolled in either of two Women's Health Initiative studies -- the Memory Study or the Cognitive Aging Study. These national studies are designed to measure the ongoing effects of hormone therapy on dementia and cognitive function.
But a fringe benefit of all that data is the ability to analyze it for the effects of other factors, like alcohol consumption. And like I said earlier, healthy women over 65 who consumed 2 to 3 alcoholic drinks per day performed better on tests involving concentration, memory, language, and abstract reasoning -- with strongest benefits in the area of verbal function
So I guess it must be true what they say about conversations running more smoothly when "lubricated."
Now, I promised good news for the drinking men-folk as well, and I won't disappoint
A recent Associated Press article summarized an Oregon State University study that pinpointed a specific chemical compound called xanthohumol (a flavonoid) present in hops that inhibits a cancer-causing protein on the surface of the prostate gland. This likely translates into a reduced risk of prostate cancer and enlargement.
And as any drinker knows, hops is a main ingredient in BEER!
Of course, the study's authors wouldn't commit to endorsing beer as a cancer preventative (I will, however) -- in fact, they kind of killed my "beer buzz" over the findings by suggesting that the best source of xanthohumol in the future might well be a concentrated flavonoid pill produced by
They just don't get it, do they? Drinking is good for you, as long as you're in good health and don't overdo it. And study after study proves or implies it, despite what some in the drug-dependent medical mainstream seem bent on concluding from the data.
And speaking of alcohol-related buzz-kills from mainstream pointy-heads
A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions found that fully 15% of the American workforce is potentially under the influence of alcohol at any given moment.
The study came to this conclusion by polling 2,805 employed adults across the continental U.S. about their alcohol consumption over the past year -- specifically with regard to this consumption's proximity to working hours
Though this seems pretty straightforward at first glance, I find the study's premises suspect. For one thing, they define "under the influence" as not simply being impaired at work, but also feeling hungover to any degree while at work, drinking any amount of alcohol while on the job, or imbibing within two hours of having to report to work.
Now granted, a hangover often indicates excessive consumption and prior impairment -- but not necessarily a current state of impairment. Some people suffer from the effects of the impurities in alcohol (essentially what a hangover is) long after the actual impairment has ceased. It's unfair to uniformly categorize anyone who has worked with an achy head from a couple pints of skunky beer from the local watering hole's dirty taps as "under the influence of alcohol" at work the next day
Beyond this, drinking is an integral part of certain jobs -- especially in the high-powered business world. Corporate executives and deal-makers "wine and dine" their clients over lubricated lunches or after rounds of golf, day-cruises, or other junkets all the time. It's how business is done.
Frankly, I'm surprised the study's finding is that ONLY 15% of the American workforce can be classified as "under the influence" at any given moment -- their research criteria are so strict that I'm beginning to think we're a nation of teetotalers
And that, my friends, would surely be an impairment -- to health!
Imbibing and surviving, but never jiving,
William Campbell Douglass II, MD